If you’re anything like me, your mind is still in the new year – and now BAM! Here’s Easter and Easter Eggs!

Easter is a time relished, and dreaded, by many. Everyone looks forward to the time off work, seeing family and celebrating with food. The elephant here, is chocolate. It feels at times that Easter is a holiday made to enjoy chocolate, or it can certainly appear that way should you walk into any supermarket in the months beforehand.

A common theme with this chocolate holiday is a concern of weight gain, but for those of us who enjoy acne, there is an added fear – a breakout!

Does chocolate cause acne? Not exactly.

Chocolate’s key ingredient, cacao, when enjoyed raw has a huge list of health benefits. Full of vitamins C, A and E, healthy fats, zinc, and chromium, along with tryptophan and magnesium; cacao has great nutritional value with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. So why is this seemingly wondrous food associated with breakouts?

It’s what we add to it.

Along with cacao, chocolate often includes milk, sugar, emulsifiers, and flavouring. These are inflammatory, and can be attributed to breakouts. What’s better is that sugar and dairy products are connected to acne breakouts for affecting hormone levels and blood sugar balance. Enjoy too much chocolate over Easter and we can forget clear skin.

So what to do about Easter egg consumption?

  • Look fancy and just eat dark chocolate in moderation. Cut down on the additives and enjoy rich dark chocolate that’s still high in vitamins, health fats and zincs, but without the excessive portion of added milk and sugars.

  • Turn your back to chocolate – embrace carob, an alternative to cacao that is sweeter and so will have less added sugar and no caffeine. Furthermore, carob has Vitamins B2, B3, and B6 along with vitamins A, D and a range of minerals and is particularly rich in iron and calcium.

  • Take an orthodox approach and paint eggs. See the pun there? Rather than eating chocolate, take up an old practice. A long standing tradition amongst many cultures is to paint eggs to celebrate Easter. You may end up doing it at a different time to many of those who observe the tradition, but it’s the thought that counts.

  • Make your own sugar-free chocolates, with this neat recipe. Or do what I do and imagine what life would be like if you had the discipline, skill, and patience to follow a recipe.

At the end of the day, moderation is key! Enjoy a piece or two, not a packet or two. Avoid supermarkets for the following fortnight as heavily discounted chocolate will tempt you to stray, but at this point, you can enjoy that you haven’t broken out like you did in years past.

Who is Nick Bell?

Nick joins SkinB5 as a writer, contributing monthly to the blog.  A mid-twenties Melburnian cliche, the bearded student suffers wanderlust, a soft spot of his city’s cafe culture and a love of cycling. He writes from experience, having suffered acne himself throughout both high school and university,  and it’s something he still battles today. Nick also writes a personal blog where he is documenting his journey for clear skin with SkinB5, having previously given up after years of ineffective products and medications.